Last friday, Iran has witnessed a historical election since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. For 10 years (since the term of progressive leader Rafsancani) the country has been experiencing reformist movements, however it was never at such a dramatic extent. They have always been supressed by the conservatives whose majority is now questionable. What is behind that change is actually a good old fashioned economic feud rather than individual rights and freedoms.
As Mr. Marx puts it, the infrastructure referring to economic relations between classes and state has and always will shapen the struggle of power. Economic interests are the greater objective for all. For iranians, the situation is no different. In order to comprehend the motives behind the outgoing crisis, it is better to look at country's economic system.
The state of Iran has so long been perceived as a "father" by its citizens. The effect of the state on economics has been huge and a kind of welfare state has always been a preferred policy choice for decision makers. This kind of social net -albeit flawed- is a significant glue for the islamic revolution. Thanks to remarkable amount of natural resources, whatever happens, "the father" would protect its family. Nevertheless, today father do not earn as expected.
Unfourtunately, Iran has fallen into the trap that every country applying Keynesian economic policies has fallen along the line; the unsustainable growth. High resource prices would have been a useful compensation for Iran's economy if their yields had not been spent for military purposes such as uranium enrichment. Ahmedinejad's government did not take necessary steps to patch up the achilles' heels of the economy. Woes became severe when the credit crunch hit and halve the oil prices. This was the time when reformists raised their voices against their oppression regime and called their leader a dictator.
Nevertheless the opposition would not have had such a substantial effect if they had not been supported by Iran's economic elite. This elite oftenly called as the "Bazaar", backs the opposition movement for several reasons. For one, they want more economic freedom for freer commercial ties -even if not entirely free-. Several years ago, Iranian parliament considered to pass a bill which envisioned to privatize various state enterprises including operational rights on natural gas reserves. It did not pass because of the Mullahs' opposition-which still hold the greatest power in the Islamic Republic System- . Because state's role as a comprehensive economic entity was accepted widely back then, bazaar did not bring this desire more loudly into the agenda in the past.
Secondly, the crisis hit this bourgeois hard. They do not have a free market economy and strong economic ties with the rest of the world and thus their flexibility before the financial crisis is very much limited. Almost %30 of the white collar workers have lost their jobs and %20 of the capital owners have shut down their businesses. You can easily find some of them among the protesters in the streets of Tahran today.
Lastly, economic woes force people to join the opponents' lines. In these days, being a protester is profitable. As the U.S. Administration stated, the government spent 325 million dolars to the "freedom movements" across the globe, %40 of which was channeled to Iran. While U.S. make these candid statements, Iran struggles to deal with government official pensions, let alone fulfill its obligations as a "father". It is known that some people provide significant gains from U.S. aid.
Whether it is rigged or not, this election showed to Iran and other nations of the world that a regime defying the solid facts of Karl's infrastructure are dommed to be failed. Oppression on economic relations would cause individual freedoms to be stricted which would give a great opportunity for other "revolutionists". It is possible for Musavi to be as tyran as Ahmedinejad on individual freedoms if he could have come into the office. But the Bazaar is confident that he would listen neo-liberals.